Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, Food, and Animal Rights Anton Refalo attended the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council which was held between the 26th and 28th of May in Brussels. Among the subjects discussed, the post-2020 CAP reform package was the main item on the agenda aiming to get a deal by Friday 28th of May.

The negotiations have been suspended and will continue during the coming meetings. The main issues of divergence include ring-fencing for green architecture, internal convergence, and social dimension. Another attempt to close the negotiations will be made in the final meeting of the Portuguese Presidency in June.

During his intervention, Minister Anton Refalo said that the new CAP package should be instrumental to assist farmers and that decisions should not lead to less production and or land abandonment. He reiterated that, as a minister, he has the responsibility to protect the interests of Maltese farmers and uphold most of the achievements reached during October’s Council General Approach.

The ministers also discussed the action plan for the development of the EU organic production put forward by the European Commission. Minister Refalo welcomed the Commission’s ambitious action plan for the development of organic production, specifically recognising the different starting points of member states. He added that actions aiming at promoting organic farming, strengthening consumer trust, and preventing food fraud are all necessary tools to enhance the organic sector. The minister emphasised the need for flexibility to organise the order of the actions in a manner that is respectful of the individual situation of the member states and to set the intensity of funding in support of organic farming, within tailored financial schemes.

Source: Office of the Prime Minister